Published Jan 22, 2016Chixtape 3 takes a gentle, more swooning route than Tory Lanez's other recent mixtape, New Toronto, opting for '90s-inspired R&B and spacious production that evokes other promising artists like Bryson Tiller and Kehlani.
The tape plays to Lanez's strengths, especially when he croons, but he's hardly sentimental here; Chixtape 3 is about an ex-girlfriend named Keisha and her friends, and finds Lanez reaching out to a female demographic. Though the Chixtape series has, so far, mostly featured remade versions of R&B hits, most of the songs on this third entry in the series aren't redefined enough. Lanez should be making these songs his own, but "S M N," a play on Destiny's Child's "Say My Name," leans a little too heavily on the original, not to mention on nostalgia.
Elsewhere, there's plenty to like. "Save It" includes an interesting feature spot from Ed Sheeran, whose vocals can be heard layered and looped, and "Juvenile Freestyle," a remix of Juvenile's "Slow Motion" with the guitar riff refined and the bass amplified, is the best track on the EP. It's likeable, at least until Tory's lyrics turn seemingly rape-y: "Now shawty, I'ma take it / If you don't give it to me."
While Chixtape 3 is pleasant enough, one can't help but feel that Lanez falls a little short of the high standards he's set with his previous work. Here's hoping he reaches new heights on his new release. (Independent)